I live in florida. I was placed on 3 years probation for felony battery. I had a restitution case that was pending and came back six months after i was on probation. It said i had to pay 8300 dollars. Now i guess it was part of probation. I never had set payments so ive been saving all this time and have saved 5000 dollars. I have 3months left and don't have it all.
Go back to Court with a lawyer and be prepared to pay the $5000 on the spot. The judge will certainly put you on a payment plan for the rest.
Explain the situation to a good local lawyer who may give you a break on the retainer to return you to court to pay your restitution and help the court get you in compliance. Everyone wins including the victim. The judge will probably work with you.
There is no such thing as a debtor's prison in the US or FL. That said, if you willfully and substantially fail to comply with the conditions of your probation - including making court ordered payments - then a violation can be filed and, if the court finds that you both willfully and substantially failed to comply then you can be incarcerated.
But in order to incarcerate you for failure to pay the court must first hold a hearing and afford you due process, including a right to present evidence that your failure to make your Court Ordered payments was not willful - that is to say that you could not (not that you chose not to) make the payments. "Willfulness" requires some degree of choice. If you have money and choose to spend it on things other than your Court Ordered obligations then you can be punished; but if you truly do not, and if the State cannot prove that you made such a choice, then you also cannot be jailed for your non-willful failure to pay.
The Court has other alternatives to jailing you; namely it can choose to extend your probation (assuming that there remains statutorily permissible time for such an extension), convert your balance to either a criminal order (in the case of restitution) or community service hours (in the case of monies other than restitution) or s/he may be able to waive the costs / fees / fines and simply terminate your probation (successfully or unsuccessfully, as s/he sees fit). However, and again, if you truly could not pay then your violation should not be considered "willful", and without that necessary component you cannot be violated and incarcerated.
All of this said, if you know that you will not be able to make your payments then you will be best advised NOT to wait for your PO to violate you and instead you should consider causing the matter to be brought before Judge beforehand - thereby hopefully impressing your Judge by your preemptive demonstration of a respectable level of acceptance of responsibility.
If you truly cannot make your payments then gather accurate records of your finances (income and expenses) and don'to sweat it (unless, of course, you are willfully not paying). If you have a lawyer then you should discuss this with her / him and have a preemptive motion filed; if not then you should consider asking your PO if s/he will assist you to get the matter in front of the Judge now, as opposed to waiting for an imminent violation. Either way so long as you are not spending your money on superfluous things and you are truly strapped for cash then I am confident that the good Judges of the Ocala area will show some compassion and understanding to your situation.
Wishing you luck and hoping that I have been helpful in answering your question.
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Mr. Haber is correct about Florida. What I will add is to get in contact with the attorney who handled this matter for you and see what he/she can do to get you an extension, being aware that it might extend your probation.
You should hire a good criminal defense lawyer right away. Your lawyer will contact your probation officer and the State Attorney to try and ensure that you are not violated. Your lawyer will help you make arrangements to pay off the portion that you can now, and then ask the Court to allow you a payment plan. It will be up to the judge, but I doubt you will go to jail if you approach it this way.
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